Managerial Unrest Highlights Importance Of Retaining Kiely

After much speculation over the summer, it emerged this morning that betting had been suspended on Davy Fitz becoming the next Galway manager.

Fitzgerald, who has been at the helm in Wexford for the past three seasons, has failed to confirm whether he will be returning the Leinster side for a fourth year amid the rumours of a switch to Galway.

The 2017 All-Ireland champions parted ways with Micheál Donoghue during the summer after three years in charge.

“Listen, I’ve to decide whether I’m staying in Wexford or not, that’s the most important question,” Fitzgerald said speaking to Midwest Sport on Wednesday.

“Listen, my heart is torn unreal there for the last number of weeks,” he said. “I think people appreciate it’s a massive-long drive down to Wexford.

Should Fitzgerald make the switch to the Tribesmen, it will send ripple effects through the GAA.

Leinster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 4, Innovate Wexford Park, Co. Wexford 8/6/2019 Wexford vs Carlow Wexford’s Davy Fitz Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Lorraine O’Sullivan

Fitzgerald’s work with Wexford has seen them improve dramatically as a team with the Clare man leading them to a first Leinster final victory in 15 years earlier in the summer.

Across the country, managerial instability has become a common trend with John Kiely poised to join Brian Cody as the only manager in the All-Ireland championship with more than three years experience with their current side.

During the summer, John Meyler and Paraic Fanning both stepped down from their roles as county managers with neither side announcing a successor yet.

Munster GAA Senior Hurling Championship Round 2, Gaelic Grounds, Limerick 19/5/2019 Limerick vs Cork Cork’s manager John Meyler and manager John Kiely of Limerick after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

Gerry O’Connor has resigned as one-half of the Clare management team with Donal Moloney set to enter into his first years solely in charge.

Liam Sheedy, albeit in his second stint as Tipp manager, and Mattie Kenny are about to enter into their second year as manager of their current countues.

All this instability further underlines the importance of Limerick’s swift reappointment of John Kiely for a further two years with the Galbally man already proving his mettle as a top class manager.

GAA Hurling All-Ireland Senior Championship Semi-Final, Croke Park, Dublin 29/7/2018 Cork vs Limerick Limerick manager John Kiely celebrates after the game Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/Oisin Keniry

In late-2014, Kiely was appointed as U21 manager and success has followed him everywhere.

2015 saw him guide the 21s to a first All-Ireland title since 2002 before he was appointed as manager of the senior side for the 2017 season.

The first year would prove a learning curve but the past two seasons have seen Limerick lift the Liam McCarthy as well as adding Munster and League honours.

With such a young squad at his disposal, Kiely’s relationship with the players that has been forged since 2015 is priceless.

He has proved key in the development of the current players with Limerick’s squad arguably the strongest in the country.

While 2019 would ultimately end in disappointment, there was a huge collective sigh of relief when it was announced that Kiely would be coming back for two more years, an indication of his popularity with the Limerick hurling public.

As such, while others look for the man to lead them to All-Ireland glory, Limerick’s man is currently plotting his assault for 2020 and the people of the Treaty county should be grateful.

GAA All-Ireland Senior Hurling Championship Final, Croke Park, Dublin 19/8/2018 Galway vs Limerick Limerick manager manager John Kiely lifts the Liam McCarthy Cup Mandatory Credit ©INPHO/James Crombie

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